Not often enough does a book strike a chord like this did for me. It is a fascinating and detailed rememberance of the final game in the 1972 Canada vs. Russia summit series, as well as a consideration of the entire series. For the hockey fan, it is riveting and nostalgic, but what this book does beautifully is take that simple sporting event and contextualize it's significance to what it meant to Canada at the time and how it has played a role in shaping some piece of our cultural identidy. Bidini reminds us that this series served in part as a lens that allows for us Canadians to look back onto ourselves from a much broader perspective and envisioning some form of our larger cultural and politicial identidy beyond what we knew of ourselves relative to the USA. It is a moment in time for Canadians, but Bidini also reminds us that it was a huge moment for Russians as well. It was a window into the little known country Canada, and an alternative look into the West. Of course, it was also a point in time when the entire planet was acutely aware of the Cold War and that overshaows all of the the drama and emotion that gets played out on the ice, but also in households, schools, offices and hockey rinks all across our nation.
This is a gem of a book and I simply can't imagine a better read for a proud Canadian, especially the proud Canadian hockey fan.
Published by ECW Press. 9781770411180. $19.95. Hardcover, with awesome colour photos throughout.